Though not often studied as such, 2 Corinthians 5 is a marvelous text to provoke us to greater evangelistic efforts. This chapter motivates us by reminding us of:
Life’s brevity (v 1a) – Our bodies are described as tents, that is, temporary dwelling places. We will all die, unless we live until the coming of the Lord. Our mortality should motivate us to be more evangelistic.
Heaven (v 1b-8) – In heaven, we will receive our permanent body. We don’t know what this body will be, but we know it will be glorious and conformed to the present body of Jesus (Phil 3:20-21). Moreover, it is in heaven where we enter the personal presence of God (cf Rev 21:1-4). This should certainly motivate us!
Pleasing God (v 9) – Soul-winning pleases God. As being soul winners, we imitate the example of Jesus (Luke 19:10), who said concerning the Father, “I always do those things that please Him” (John 8:29).
Judgment (v 10) – “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, to receive the things done in the body.” At the close of inspiration, John reminded us that all the dead will stand before God and be judged (Rev 20:12).
Fear (v 11) – I believe here in verse 11 Paul speaks of his own fear of the Judgment just mentioned in verse 10. Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18), but there should always be in us a healthy fear of the Judgement.
Love (v 14) – “For the love of Christ compels us.” Love is the highest ethic and the greatest and most consistent motivator. Thus, we are motivated by the love Christ has for us and for all men, evidenced by His death on the cross.
Obligation (v 18) – “God… has given us the ministry of reconciliation” There is nothing in the world wrong with being motivated to act through our recognized obligations (cf Ecc 12:13; Luke 17:7-10).
Our Message (v 19) – The world cannot be reconciled to God apart from the gospel, for it is God’s power to save (Rom 1:16).
Our Messiah (v 21) – How can we not be motivated by Jesus’ incarnation, His life and ministry, His death, burial and resurrection, His ascension and His return?